Fraud Alert: Scammers Claiming to be with DOJ, Preying on Elderly
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Virginia
ROANOKE, Va. – The Office of Justice Programs’ Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) has received multiple reports that individuals claiming to represent the Department of Justice are calling members of the public as part of an imposter scam. The Department strongly encourages the public to remain vigilant and not provide personal information during these calls, which appear to be targeting the elderly.
Reports to the National Elder Fraud Hotline indicate these scammers falsely represent themselves as Department of Justice investigators or employees and attempt to obtain personal information from the call recipient, or they leave a voicemail with a return phone number. The return phone number directs users to a recorded menu that matches the recorded menu for the Department’s main phone number. Eventually, the user reaches an “operator” who steers the user to someone claiming to be an investigator. That “investigator” then attempts to gain the user’s personal information.
“It is unconscionable that anyone would seek to prey upon elderly victims. We will continue to work closely with our federal, state and local partners to make sure we prevent and limit the damage done by this fraud scheme, and hold anyone who has participated accountable,” First Assistant United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar said today. “Please watch out for this scam, and do not be fooled by scammers seeking your personal information – whether they are calling while posing as a DOJ employee or otherwise.”
Those who receive these calls are encouraged not to provide personal information and to report these scams to the FTC via their website or by calling 877–FTC–HELP (877-382-4357). Fraud can also be reported to the FBI for law enforcement action at https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/report-fraud.
The National Elder Fraud Hotline is a resource created by OVC for people to report fraud against anyone age 60 or older. Reporting certain financial losses due to fraud as soon as possible, and within the first 2–3 days, can increase the likelihood of recovering losses. The hotline is open seven days a week. For more information about the hotline, please visit https://stopelderfraud.ovc.ojp.gov/.
For local information from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia, please visit: https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdva
Updated September 9, 2020